More than 1,500 farmers, community leaders and urbanites attending an Aug. 20 rally sent a passionate message to the California State Water Board about their disgust with its proposed unimpaired San Joaquin River flows.
The event — organized by Assemblyman Adam Gray, D-Merced, and held on the steps of the state Capitol in Sacramento — was to draw attention to the effects the proposal would have on the fragile Central Valley economy, which relies on agriculture as its No. 1 industry.
Speaker after speaker pointed out the flawed science as well as a lack of transparency behind the proposal. In between, the crowd chanted “stop the water grab” or “fight, fight, fight.”
“Are we going to allow three people on the board to decide a multi-billion-dollar economy and to make this decision?” Rep. Doug LaMalfa, R-Richvale, and a fourth-generation rice farmer, asked the crowd. “Are we going to hold accountable those people who put those bureaucrats in place?